Saving an 80-year-old Bonsai Tree Can be a Moving Experience


100_2732 100_2710 100_2708In Gruettville we recently got an unusual request. New homeowners had moved into a neighborhood and had different ideas about the landscape they wanted at their home. In the end, that meant cutting down a tree that had been long admired and had sentimental value in the neighborhood. Many years before, the former homeowner brought in a specialist from Tokyo to cultivate a bonsai tree in his yard and for years had nurtured it. One of those admiring neighbors just couldn’t stand to see it go and asked the new homeowner if she could transplant the tree to her property.

As crazy as any job may sound, we will never say no if there is a possible way to do it successfully. For projects like these, we are able to pull together the tree healthcare science side of our business with the nuts-and-bolts tree cutting and trimming side to think outside of the box and make things happen that other tree services might pass on.

It was to be a challenging job for us. We had to go open up the ground to expose every root, and then remove it from its original home and move it to a yard down the street. The new location was completely prepared to receive the tree before we removed it from where it had grown for decades.

When you don’t damage any of the roots, the tree is able to continue transpiring and respiring and living just like it was before. Since the new location was only a few doors down and we wanted to cause as little disruption as we could to the tree, we carried it to the new location.

Because of the size of the tree, and the delicateness of the operation, it took 10 people, holding by the roots to move her up the street. We did it at a jog, because we didn’t want the tree to be out of the ground any longer than necessary, as she could dry out. Once we carried the tree to her new home, we put her in the ground, aerated her, and issued a specific prescription of vitamins, preventing the tree from going into shock.

The fear people have when they are considering transplanting a tree is that it will not survive the shock, so they may decide not to do it. In this case the homeowners were very happy when we told them that with proper care, it could be done successfully.

By the way, that 80-year-old bonsai has been doing great ever since its move, and is still delighting her neighbors and hopefully will continue to do so for many years to come.